How to Spot Leadership Qualities and Rising Talent within your Team (7 Tips)
How can we actually define modern leadership qualities in our work environment?
It’s an interesting topic and an even more fascinating concept. Does it pose the question; Do we even need leaders nowadays? So, anyone who works hard, does that mean they can be a leader? Should I promote the person who has been with me the longest? Does bossy = Leadership?
Yes, we absolutely do need leaders, now more than ever.
No, working hard doesn’t automatically equal an awesome leader. And no, you shouldn’t just automatically promote your longest standing employee. Let’s look at why.
They are all valid and interesting questions.
My own experience with leaders
I have always been drawn to strong leaders, in both my career and also my personal hobbies. Even my part-time bar job at the majorly (now illegal) age of 16, there was a Manager who held a notable air of authority and obvious leadership qualities. People would simply, do as they were told, and be happy about it! Even on minimum wage with no bonus or benefits. I found this concept fascinating. Everyone would know when he walked into the main area and without needing to say anything, there was order and motivation to do well.
This fascination with leadership qualities carried over to my professional career.
The first Manager I worked for in an office environment carried a similar air of authority. Without being a Dusche (more on Dusche Managers later). He commanded respect, without commanding respect, if you can get where I’m coming from. He never actually said ‘respect me!’. People just did.
The best kind of leader
From my initial interview to my final day 4 years later, that manager was a complete professional. He was a gentleman, you never heard him swear, get angry, in fact, you could barely tell his mood from one day to the next. He was always, well consistently professional. Now just because you couldn’t examine his mood, it doesn’t mean he wasn’t nice. He wasn’t cold, but he wasn’t too close to people either, there was definitely a separation.
Friendly enough, but not too much
He was friendly and knew about everyone as individuals and would ask a question to them individually from time to time. You could neither adore or dislike him. So, when he did have something to say, everyone listened intently. It was rare he’d be questioned, whatever decision he made was respected. Whether everyone agreed with it at the time or not, everyone understood it and entirely trusted his judgement.
So, how could this man hold such authority, with no enemies and zero personal conflicts?
You’d never hear staff bitching about him in secret in the lunchroom. He never needed to raise his voice, so how was he so good at getting his point across and winning support? That’s what we are going to delve in to.
But first, let’s look at leadership gone wrong.
Dusche Managers. Have you ever been asked to do something in a way, that makes you literally want to do the opposite? Or perhaps you were asked to do something and you pretended not to hear it! Have you been in a team talk where people are literally rolling their eyes? Defiance was probably standard. Were suggestions made by the team, and heard or actioned by the leader? The performance was average or poor most likely in these environments. Leadership is not for everyone. Period.
Leadership, it’s not for everyone
If you don’t want to be a leader, have no interest in leadership whatsoever, perhaps that’s a telling sign. For those who have somehow landed in a leadership role, but have no interest in the ongoing education of leadership, you are doing yourself an injustice.
Just like any other skill, there is always more to learn in leadership.
True leaders inspire teams. How to inspire? To do the work, grow, develop and move onwards and upwards, encouraging people to do the same. Continued professional development in the area of leadership is a wise and valuable investment of time and money. With the support of a motivated and inspired team, you can be unstoppable.
So how can you spot an up and coming leader? And why is it important for you to do something about it when you know there’s a great leader in the making in your workforce? Clearly, there are many people who aren’t right for leadership and display all the wrong qualities. This doesn’t apply to everyone, but it is important to identify talent when you have it there.
Leadership qualities are what you need to be on the lookout for.
In this Forbes article, the 8 qualities to define a good leader are Enthusiasm, Integrity, great communication, loyalty, decisiveness, managerial competence, empowerment, charisma. Can you see how you may be able to spot a leader before they are a leader?
Do you have someone waiting for an opportunity to showcase their leadership qualities?
If you have someone within your own workforce who displays a number of these qualities regularly, you may need to consider developing them for growth. By doing so, you could reap the rewards and add to your bottom line. Investing in courses to teach some of the missing areas for your rising talent can encourage long term loyalty and promote a positive environment for your team. They already know your business and have already shown you many of the encouraging signs you enjoy about them as a member of the team. Is it time to let them rise to their potential?
Let’s take a look at how you can spot leadership qualities and rising talent with your workforce:
Does this person have influence within the team? Do they have the support of the rest of their team more often than not?
Commitment to the team
This person is team orientated, if the team wins – they’ve won! Often found helping others and always going the extra mile for the new starters.
Suggestions for improvement
Are you receiving a regular flow of suggestions, that are actually quite valuable to you? This person clearly cares about the business, enough to take the time to submit quality suggestions to you.
They don’t have to be a comedian! But a nice personality and good charisma definitely help when winning support from the team. That doesn’t always make someone a pushover, mind you. Nice doesn’t equal easy. But a good personality is a win/win for you and your wider team.
Eager to learn
Perhaps you have someone chomping at the bit to learn more? They are always putting their hand up for courses and knowledge whenever it’s available. Great! Time to start nurturing this eagerness for knowledge an progression. Promoting more of this healthy attribute in one employee, it can filter out to the wider team. Use it or lose it! If you aren’t nurturing this, another company will or the staff member will look elsewhere for their knowledge fix!
Interest in the wider business performance
Has someone been asking about the overall business performance, instead of just their own role? Perhaps they are the one most intently listening to meetings and company conferences? This person might be displaying strong business acumen. By taking in the information and asking valid questions, perhaps your staff member has a keen interest in performance and growth, a potentially valuable leader in the making.
A job ‘wow’ done
When you ask someone to go off and make a fire, and the bonfire of the century is the result you end up with. They aren’t necessarily magicians, just dedicated workers to producing brilliant outcomes. That kind of dedication can go a long way for your business.
Don’t ignore these encouraging signs!
Help your employees shine and you’ll be rewarded with great work and long-term loyalty. You could always treat the team to a corporate massage to help them relax and say thanks a job well done!